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Wednesday, 24 August 1921

Senator EARLE (Tasmania) . - I should not have followed Senator Lynch but that he will persist in saying that every duty imposed on articles manufactured in Australia penalizes the users of those articles.

Senator Gardiner - Of course, that is so.

Senator EARLE - It is not.

Senator Lynch - Then, why is a duty imposed ?

Senator EARLE - To encourage the local manufacture of the articles in question. If, as has been explained over and overagain, these machines, which are used, not by the prospectors as has been urged, but by the mining companies, are manufactured in Australia, they will become cheaper than the imported machines.

Senator Lynch - Do not dodge the point; Are not these duties imposed to raise prices?

Senator EARLE - I am not evading the point. I interjected while the honorable senator was speaking, but he was incapable of appreciating the true situation. It seems tome that he rather stubbornly refuses to recognise it. I know that he can realize that when these machines are made in Australia they canbe obtained for less than what the users would have to pay if they were dependent upon manufacturers overseas. Even if that wore not so, another point in favour of encouraging the local industry is that we have power to control manufacturers within the Commonwealth, and can deal with them if they exploit the people, but have absolutely no control over manufacturers in other countries who export their products to Australia. What happened last night? When we were discussing the duty on sewing machines-

The CHAIRMAN (Senator Bakhap - I ask the honorable senator not to hark back to that item, to which ho has already referred by way of illustration.

Senator EARLE - There may be in the Tariff schedule an item relating to a machine that is not made in Australia, but which can be produced in England at a cost of 30s. or £2. That machine is sold in Australia to-day for £12 or more.

The CHAIRMAN - The item to which the honorable senator is referring has been dealt with. If honorable senators are permitted continually to revert to items that have been passed the Tariff discussion will be interminable.

Senator EARLE - Let me assume, for the sake of argument, that rock-cutting machines are not manufactured in Australia, but are brought here from London,

New York, or Berlin, where they are produced at a cost of £100 each. In keeping with the products of other enterprises of a similar character those machines, when brought into Australia, would be sold for £400 each. Australians would have to pay that price for them, because we do not produce them here, and have no control over the manufacturers abroad. That would not happen if the machines were made here. I am just as convinced as Senator Lynch appears to be that the miner and the agriculturist are penalized when an increased duty is placed on a machine that they use which is not made here, but I am equally convinced that in the interests of all prim ary producers every effort should be made to insure the manufacture in Australia of the machinery which they employ.

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